The key to success for “Captain America” is connecting this hero from the era of WWII to modern times. The movie also has to tie in with all of the other Marvel comic superheroes who have made it on to the big screen and are part of the ‘Avengers’. As the title clearly points out, this guy is actually the first Avenger, and at the same time they have to deliver the myth behind his inception, that he was a 98lm weakling who, thanks to a military experiment, became a wall made of muscle as opposed to bricks.
The movie also has to create a plausible meeting between the good captain and the leader of the Avengers who we know as Nick Fury. There also needs to be thrown into the mix a credible version of an inventor called Howard Stark, the father of Tony Stark, AKA Iron Man. As if this wasn’t enough, it has to be fun, grab the audience’s attention and overall must be the hardest comic hero to bring to the big screen.
You will all be pleased to know that succeeds on all levels, and although it is the 4th comic book hero movie this summer, it is also the best by a long way. Director Joe Johnston has taken the legend that is Captain America and lovingly turned it into a movie that is clever, well balanced and brings a real lump to the throat. He has Nazis as the baddies, always a good choice as they clearly make the best villains, and there are nods towards both Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark.
The first part was to do a ‘Benjamin Button’ on Chris Evans to turn him into the scrawny weakling Steve Rogers. The digitally altered Evans is pitiful as the shrimp like Rogers, who is determined to serve his country in WWII but is classed as $F, or physically unfit, when the military rejects him. He then signs up for a secret unit that is to be turned in a platoon of super soldiers, all thanks to a special serum created by Dr. Erskine.
Erskine selects Rogers for the experiment as he epitomizes the little guys fight in the David v Goliath scenario and he keeps fighting against hopeless odds for what he believes in. The Nazis also have a head start in the super soldier race, in the form of Johann Schmidt. Not only is his Hydra Organization churning out super weapons as well as soldiers, he himself has in his possession the legendary power belonging to the Norse God Odin.
As Doctor Jones is away digging for treasures in the desert, it’s just as well the US has Cpt. America to chase down this pesky bad guy. Evans is best known for comedic roles, and this is a vast departure for him. While there are very few wisecracks for him, he does bring an earnestness and honesty to the part of the little guy who gets his chance to shine, albeit in a silly costume after imbibing a seriously dodgy cocktail of chemicals.